How To Use Brake Cleaner

Have you recently heard a high-pitched squealing sound while riding your car? Your car brake is the source of this sound. It indicates that you have to clean your braking system.

It is unsafe to ride a car without a proper brake. Although there are airbags and other safety components, they are of no use without a braking unit. As the brakes have high importance, you need to maintain their proper functioning and efficiency. When you ride your vehicles regularly, your brakes accumulate dirt, dust, and grease. That is why you need to use a high-quality brake cleaner, which removes the buildups and keeps up the brakes’ best condition. However, lots of vehicle owners do not know the right way of applying the brake cleaner. We have provided you with detailed information on the brake cleaner and the proper technique of using it.

Brake cleaners refer to aerosol sprays, which contain some special chemicals. These chemicals loosen oil, grease, debris, and dust from every part of the braking system. The liquid component easily removes the contaminants from the brake parts. However, it evaporates within a short time and does not leave any trace. You will find no dirt causing continuous noise and reducing the braking capability.

Which brake cleaner is right for you?

We have found brake cleaners of different types-

  • Non-chlorinated solvent
  • Chlorinated solvent

Although they have no difference in functions, you can find variations in ingredients.

Non-chlorinated brake cleaners do not have flammable content. They can dry fast after your application.

The chlorinated version is the flammable brake cleaner. This cleaner takes time to get dried. However, in some regions, the use of flammable brake cleaner is prohibited.

The compounds present in chlorinated cleaners are tetrachloroethylene and perchloroethylene. There is also carbon dioxide in the aerosol brake cleaner. On the contrary, the non-chlorinated cleaners have acetone, heptane, and carbon dioxide.

A guide to using your brake cleaner

Have you painted any surface with a sprayer? Then, you have to apply this technique to use your brake cleaner. Although the brake cleaner manufacturers provide different instructions, you will easily apply the cleaning agent. We have provided you with some useful information on how to use brake cleaners on your car parts.

Cleaning the brake pad

It would help if you had a piece of cloth and cleaner to clean the brake pad. Remove the tire and apply the cleaner at least 2 feet above the brake. Start spraying the cleaning solution from the top portion of your braking system and then use it to the bottom. You can choose a downward spraying process. While spraying the cleaning agent, you can remove grease and dirt that can clog your brake pad.

Moreover, the cleaner has the potential to loosen the dirt and remove the grease with other brake fluids blocking the brake crevices. But, you may find some parts not easy to clean with the single application of the cleaner. You have to use the cleaner twice to get the result. After applying the cleaner, you can leave the braking system and let it dry. It is better to clean the parts with a piece of cloth.

Other tips for brake pad cleaning

  • All the brake parts must be cold while using the cleaner.
  • Some parts that need no cleaning must be covered to prevent stains.

Cleaning the piston and brake caliper

Brake calipers can become greasy and dirty, and the best way of removing the dirt is by applying a cleaner.

You have to remove the caliper using a jack and place it on a stand. Detach the lugs and the wheel. Also, disassemble the brake fluid cylinder and the hood. Add a film to the liquid content. Loosen the brake line using your caliper.

While opening these systems, you have to be careful to avoid spills. Use a screwdriver for the removal of a caliper clip. Take out the rotors and caliper bolts. After detaching the caliper, you may take the pad out of the system.

Before starting the cleaning process, you will find the piston fitted to the caliper. It would help if you also treated the piston at this time. However, you need a nozzle and pressurized air for the removal of the piston.

Place a piece of wood between your piston and the advanced surface. Insert the nozzle in the hole of your brake line to start applying the compressed air. It helps in the separation of the caliper from the piston.

When you clean the brake piston, you have to apply the brake cleaner. Use a stiff brush for easy removal of the grease and dirt accumulating on the cleaner with time. You can apply the brake cleaner and choose a scrub to deal with the brake caliper cleaning process. However, when you find dirt not coming off the small holes, you need to repeat the cleaning process. This effort will ensure the proper functioning of the braking system.

Can you use brake cleaners for different purposes?

You may have bought the cleaning agent to clean your vehicle’s braking system. However, there are several other uses of the brake cleaner. Thus, by investing in brake cleaner, you can use the product for household purposes.

Clean your floor surface

Brake cleaner has the best chemicals to clean your patio, concrete surface, carpets, and other floor surfaces. You can take a piece of cloth to remove the grease stains.It is vital to remove absorbent before starting to scrub with your cleaner. However, while cleaning the carpet, you have to ensure that it has not reached the adhesive holding the floor and carpet.

Remove stains from fabrics

The perchloroethylene present in your brake cleaners is a commonly chosen chemical for laundry purposes. A minimal amount of cleaner is effective in removing stains and oil from your cloth. However, you must put on gloves while dealing with the brake cleaner. Direct contact with the cleaner can irritate your skin.

Remove paint and ink

You have to chooseanon-chlorinated brake cleaning solution, which has acetones. Acetones can remove paints, spills, and permanent markers, spills, paints.

Take some precautionary steps

You must keep flames away from your brake cleaner. Moreover, you should not inhale the cleaning component. It is essential to avoid using the clear for any welding equipment. The chemicals in your brake cleaners reach Argon and heat to produce Phosgene gas, a poisonous gas. Thus, do not do brake cleaning and welding at a time.

To use brake cleaners for cleaning other items, you have to go through instructions. You must know the eco-friendly way of disposing of the cans of your brake cleaners. With these simple steps, you can protect the environment and keep yourself safe.

Find some more information about brake cleaner and its uses-

Is it safe to apply brake cleaning chemicals to the engine?

Brake cleaners have an intense reaction with rubber and plastic hoses. When you have applied the chemical to these materials, it can cause cracks and other problems. But, when you use the cleaner for your engine, you can find the color getting dull.

Do I always need to remove wheels to clean the brake calipers?

It may not be easy for you to clean the caliper without taking the wheel out of your system. Most automobile owners like to remove wheels for thorough cleaning of calipers.

However, you can find more than one way of cleaning the brake calipers by avoiding the wheel removal process. Spray the cleaning solution on the surface, apply the brush, and rinse the surface.

Some cleaners enable you to clean and remove the dust after their application. Thus, while cleaning the brake caliper, you may not find it easy to access other components. You have to move your car slightly to deal with other components.

Is a brake cleaner effective for rust removal?

Brake cleaners have a scientifically proven formula to clean the braking system and remove dust, dirt, grease, and other substances. Thus, you can buy cleaners only to keep your brake parts dirt-free. Chemicals used in the cleaner do not have any capability of removing the rust.

Do brake cleaners cause risk to my tires?

Most vehicles have rubber tires, and the brake cleaner manufacturers instruct that their products are not intended to be used for rubber.

The wax protectors on rubbers prevent ozone damage. When you have applied brake cleaner to your car tires, there will have no direct effect on them. However, it will remove the protector, and thus, your tires will have no ozone protection.

From the detailed discussion, we can say those brake cleaners are beneficial for automobile users. But, some users do not know about the effectiveness of the brake cleaner. As one of the car owners, you have to take care of the braking system. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you have applied the brake cleaner properly. Clean the brake parts thoroughly and make them long-lasting.


Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.